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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  September 8, 2012 8:00am-9:30am EDT

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good morning, everyone. welcome to "cnn saturday morning." i'm randi kaye. >> i'm victor blackwell. 8:00 on the east coast, 5:00 out west. thanks for starting your day with us. let's get you up to speed on some of the stories we're working on this morning. first mexican police have arrested a suspect in the killing of a u.s. border agent that blew the lid off the botched gun smuggling scheme known as fast and furious.
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he was taken into custody about 60 miles south of the arizona border. he's the second person arrested in the case. three other suspects are still at large. the pentagon wants answers about the bombshell tell-all "no easy day" recounts the killing of osama bin laden. the head of u.s. operations contacted members of the covert team to find out if the book's version of bin laden's death is accurate. in no easy day, the author writes bin laden had been shot already and was lying on the floor of his room when the s.e.a.l.s entered. he says they shot bin laden again and that's when they killed him. the pentagon says that's wrong. they said bin laden was standing when they entered and they shot him because he was a threat. two young children are in safe and their father is in custody after a coast guard rescue off the california coast. the man is accused of abducting the kids from their mother's home and stealing a sailboat at
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a local arena. they turned the boat in. they said the parents had been involved in a custody dispute. well, now to politics and the fight for votes in swing states. mitt romney is heading to virginia where a recent poll conducted by quinnipiac university, "new york times" and cbs news shows the president with a slight edge over romney. he's up 49% to 45% over his republican rival in that battleground state. that's where we find cnn political editor paul steinhauser. paul, good morning. both campaigns working hard to get the boat out, of course, in virginia. a battleground on air, on the ground. how much are we talking about when it comes to this ad spending? >> we are talking about a lot of money, victor. this is a very important battleground state. remember, barack obama won the state four years ago. he was the first democrat
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victory since 1964 to win. as for ad spending, take a look at this. almost $12 million spent by president obama's election campaign and super pacs backing him. romney, just under 12 as well. independent super pacs backing him. the ad wars focused in the virginia beach, norfolk, tidewater area, virginia, noern virginia outside of d.c. those are the big markets in virginia and those are the big swing areas in virginia. victor. >> they are spending a lot on the ads and gas to get there. they are going to virginia over and over and over this season. >> they sure are. overall the president made seven trips or swings through virginia just recently on tuesday. remember, when he kicked off his first rallies in may he started in ohio, the second rally right here in virginia. romney, this will be the seventh trip, six swings since the general election started. remember, where did he announce his running mate paul ryan, just down the street here in norfolk, virginia. yeah, it's an important state
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for both these men. >> they will be back. we yesterday got the numbers from the labor day about the unemployment rate. each campaign, how are they responding to these numbers? >> the republicans, romney campaign and republicans are quick to attack saying, listen, if the convention in charlotte was the party these numbers that came out friday morning were the hangover. take a look at what both men said on the campaign trail yesterday. >> after losing 800,000 jobs a month when i take office, business has added jobs for the 30th month in a row. we've added more than 4.6 million jobs. [ applause ] but we know that's not good enough. we can do better. we need to create jobs even faster. >> there were four times as many people who dropped out of the workforce as the net new jobs created under this president. it's not just a one-month figure. the white house has, i think,
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now for 31 straight months said don't look at the monthly numbers. monthly numbers aren't that critical. if you take 30 months and put them together, that's pretty critical. >> reporter: of course the economy remains the top issue on the minds of voters. top economic issue, jobs, jobs, jobs. that's why you'll hear so much more of that. i have the cnn express bus behind me. we'll watch romney and then go to the nascar race. >> using up the gas budget yourself following candidates around the country. paul steinhauser in virginia. thank you. president obama turning his attention to the battleground state that could decide this year's election. he's kicking off a two-day tour in florida. his first stop is st. petersburg. that's where we find jessica yellin. we talk so much about florida. if obama plans to stay in the white house, is florida a must win? >> florida is one of those states if the president wins it, it will be very hard for mitt
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romney to find a path to the white house. that's because it is so rich with electoral votes. the president already has the advantage on the map that it gives him that crucial edge. there are other ways for the president to win if he loses florida, but picking up this state sure would make it an easier path for the president, randi. >> some base supporters say they are the ones, not the undecided voters, who will actually decide this election. a lot of folks agreeing with them. how true is this in florida, do you think? >> he certainly needs to turn out the original obama supporters including young voters and latino voters especially in this state. in florida he's got to get swing voters along the i-4 corridors known for its swingyness, if you will. he needs to win back those republicans who voted for him last time around. that might be one reason he's campaigning today with former governor and former republican
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charlie crist. he also will try to appeal to the seniors, no doubt, who are such a big vote here in florida, have been something of a reach for the president this season. but he senses and edge the democrats have now that they have taken on this medicare battle. i expect to hear that on the trail as well today, randi. >> we got the jobs report. the new unemployment rate is down to 8.1%. florida's unemployment rate stands at 8.8%. pretty likely, you think, that obama will address this later today. >> he doesn't take the number on directly but he talks about consistently that the nation, in his words, needs to do better, needs to do more. yesterday he found the silver lining in the new jobs report focusing on the fact new jobs had been created but saying there's still a big hole in the economy and then pivoting quickly to argue that his vision for economic growth is the way to fill that hole into the future. i expect that message to be
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repeated again today. randi, finally, with his new attack on taxes where he makes these jokes saying the republican solution to everything is more tax cuts, more tax cuts to solve the economy, more tax cuts to lose weight, more tax cuts to heal a cold. this is his new riff on the campaign trail that started at the convention. >> when he speaks later on in his 10:00 eastern hour, well, of course, bring that live to our viewers. jessica yellin, thank you very much. appreciate that. you can get an up close and personal look at the two men vowing to hold america's future in their hands. find out what mitt romney and barack obama are really like beginning at 8:00 p.m. when we profile the republican presidential nominee in romney revealed, family, faith, and the road to power. that's followed at 9:30 on obama revealed, the man, the president, right here on cnn. we have so much ahead this hour. >> here is what's coming up.
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>> a murderer in prison granted a sex change by a judge. guess whose paying for it? we'll explain. it's got sunny beaches an tanned bodies but it's those 29 electoral votes that have the candidates coming back for more. all morning we're putting florida in focus. sweet, cuddly, and doomed to the gas chamber. we have an inside look exposing a little known truth about some animal shelters.
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it's pretty clear this presidential election is coming down to the swing states, traditionally blue, rock solid red and ones in the middle that can change year by year. those are yellow. florida is one of those states, maybe the most important of those states. that's why we're focusing our attention. joining me lenny curry, chairman of the florida republican party. lenny, good morning to you. first of all, there are less than 60 days left until the election, hard to believe. less than that for people who will be voting early. what is the republican party doing to rally support behind mitt romney? >> absentee drops going out to
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get people to get their absentee ballots in early. it's all about a ground game now. in addition to the rallies, making sure we're calling republica republicans, knocking on their doors and encouraging them to come out and vote for mitt romney and paul ryan. >> people talk about the three florida's, nortd, south, and central, a toss up. is that where the republicans are really focusing their efforts? >> we can't take anything for granted in florida because it is such an important state for mitt romney. it's a must win for mitt romney. north florida while traditionally conservative, president obama came close in duvall county and jacksonville, he got 49% of the vote. we can't let that happen again. i-4 corridor, hillsborough county has called every election since 1960 with the exception of
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one. orange county, hillsborough is a big deal for us. >> mitt romney rolling out new ads in florida like this one. let's take a listen. >> this president can ask us to be patient. this president can tell us it was someone else's fault. but this president cannot tell us you're better off than when you took office. >> here in florida we're not better off under president obama. home values collapsed, home construction jobs lost. high rate of foreclosure. romney's plan, provide alternatives to foreclosure, end the mortgage lending freeze. create over 700,000 new jobs for florida. >> i'm mitt romney and i approve this message. all right. so lenny, we have seen that home prices are up and foreclosures are actually down since obama took office. how do you square those numbers? >> well, in florida, since governor scott took office, the economy started to turn around in florida. i know president obama is campaigning with former governor charlie crist, which is odd to me.
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but if you look at the year charlie crist and obama were in office together, florida lost over 200,000 jobs. since rick scott took office, created 120,000. we've started to turn things around here. we've got a ways to go. we believe we would be in much better shape with a mitt romney as president. >> let me pick up on that. you said you do give a lot of the credit to governor scott there. but we've heard this a lot in the ballots ground states like ohio, florida, wisconsin. gop, everybody in the republican party still seems to be saying that. is it possible they are all recovering in the same way like that? we had a democratic candidate for governor laughed when that was brought up today. i want you to react to that. >> here is what i know, my experience on the ground in florida. i know governor scott personally. i see how he works every day. he's not just a politician out shaking hands, trying to make the case. he gets up at the crack of dawn
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every morning, goes to bed late at night and actively working to make sure floridians are getting back to work. this is a direct result of his efforts and florida legislature. there's no question in my mind. i see it every day. >> a couple of weeks ago you said the romney plan for the economy was plain and simple to stop the nanny state. doesn't he need to give people more specifics than that and more than he gave in his convention speech? >> well, mitt romney has a five-point plan. let me talk about this criticism of mitt romney and what are you going to do specifically compared to president obama. when you have someone that's been in a ceo role for a number of years and they haven't performed, their response shouldn't be what's my successor's plan going to be. when someone comes in to interview for a ceo role, you typically look at their resume. history is a pretty good measure of how someone is going to perform. in interviewing mitt romney for this job, you look at what he did at bain capital, sports authority, the olympics. mitt romney has a record of
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success and that's how you interview someone for a job and ultimately hire them. >> he talks about his five-point plan. we know there's a plan but what are the five points? >> it includes energy. it includes small business. it includes tax reform. if we got into specifics we could sit here and talk for an hour and i'd be a policy wonk. >> you think he's laid out the specifics compared to the president? >> i think he's laid out more specifics than he's getting credit for, absolutely. >> all right. lenny curry, we don't have an hour to talk specifics. appreciate it. we have more coming up in our 10:00 hour. we'll look at which voters could swing the state one way or the other plus we'll take you live to the president's campaign stop in saint pete. >> a suicide bomber targets nato headquarters in afghanistan, several casualties and a claim of responsibility. we have details next. this is new bayer migraine.
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we have to find new ways to help make life easier, more convenient and more rewarding. it's the reason why we don't have costumers. we have members. american express. welcome in. taking you overseas. in afghanistan, at least six people, including children, are dead in a suicide mission at nato, capital of kabul. they think the suicide bomber may have been as young as 13 years old. four people hurt but no casualties among nato personnel. the taliban claiming responsibility. an all too familiar and deadly sound is ringing out in syria.
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shelling and fresh fighting has killed at least 23 people across syria today, that's according to opposition activists. the violence spilling across their border. iraqi interior ministry officials say a 4-year-old girl died when four rockets fired from syria landed in an iraqi town. tonight peyton walsh takes us on a journey to see what people living in a populated city are facing day to day. the sounds of gunfire and bombs haunt the streets. the hospitals are ill equipped to handle the injured. watch crisis in syria, inside aleppo right here on cnn. to china now where at least 80 people have been killed and 700 injured after a series of earthquakes rocked the country's southern region. the four earthquakes considered moderate in strength. thousands of homes damaged forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people. in canada diplomats given
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days to get out. they cut off ties yesterday. they say iran is the most significant threat to global peace and security. canada's foreign affairs minister accuses iran of not complying with u.n. resolutions pertaining to its nuclear program and engaging in racist, ant anti-semitic. a judge grants a convicted murderer a sex operation. wait until you hear who is paying for it. paperless discount... paid in full discount... [yawning] homeowner's discount... safe driver discount... unicorn discount. unicorn wearing a sombrero. olé... countless discounts -- now, that's progressive. call or click today. to meet the needs of my growing business.
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23 minutes after the hour now. we're taking you cross-country this morning. we're going to start in florida. a parking garage collapsed in
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the middle of the day and was caught on surveillance video. this is it. the garage is for the broward county courthouse. they were going to demolish this thing anyway. that's why it was empty. no people, cars inside. there was so much dust that at least one person thought it was a terror attack. good news here is no one was seriously hurt. now to georgia, a woman is steaming mad that she got two speeding tickets on the same road at the same time. the first, she was stopped for driving 56 in a 35. after the officer wrote the ticket, he said, wait here, ma'am. there's another officer here to write you another ticket. that one was for driving 62 in a 35. >> he said, ma'am, we're giving you a second ticket and this is to make an example of you. >> they are on the same exact minute of the same exact day. then i just went into total shock. i was like -- i was so upset i couldn't even cry. >> the police chief said the two
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officers were at opposite ends of the road and the driver sped up between them. look at what's visible in alabama as a result of hurricane isaac. it's wreckage from a schooner that ran aground in 1923. the high surf from isaac washed off all the sand. >> i am stoked that it's as well preserved as it is. >> it's incredible to see history laying right here on fort morgan on the beach. >> the wreckage is in a remote part of the shoreline. it's uncovered every few years when a big storm hits. >> one family is threatening legal action after their 16-year-old son with down's syndrome was kicked off an american airlines flight. take a look here. this is him. american airlines called the teen a security risk saying he might interfere with the pilot if he was seated in first class near the cockpit. the family said it was a clear case of discrimination in vigs of the america-- in violation o
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americans with disability act. >> i think the pilot was concerned my son was in first class. i think the pilot felt my type of son, down's syndrome disabled son shouldn't be in first class. >> the family is considering filing a discrimination suit. they will join us next hour. american airlines released this statement. the young man was excited, running around. the pilot tried to calm him down. his efforts were not successful. for the safety of the young they offered to book another flight. they said he wasn't miss behaving. do you think the boys' parents have a case for discrimination? tweet us and we'll read your
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responses later on this morning. a convicted murderer gets an okay to have a sex change operation. when you hear who is paying for it, you might call the judge yourself. we'll examine the unusual case. ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities. oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters
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bottom of the hour now. welcome back, everyone. "cnn saturday morning." i'm randi kaye. >> i'm victor blackwell. our first morning together, are you feeling all right? >> i'm feeling it, kneeling good. >> picking it up where i'm putting it down. >> keep putting it down. >> serious issue, most classrooms in america, the third largest school system in america, could be empty on monday. that's because teachers in chicago are threatening to go on strike if they don't get a new contract. the issues are pay and hours and job security. negotiations are scheduled today. if there's no breakthrough, this could be chicago's first teacher strike in a quarter century. congressman jesse jackson, jr., has checked out of the mayo clinic where he was treated for
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depression. he's 46 years old and hasn't been on capitol hill since may. asked whether he will be back at work on monday, an aide said, quote, we hope. a police officer mistakenly shot a robbery victim. according to officials, 20-year-old had managed to escape from three robbers when he, quote, became entangled with a police officer whose gun went off. remember, this is the robbery victim. police have been under great scrutiny in new york since nine pedestrians were wounded on august 24th. they shot and killed the murder suspect but bullets wounded bystanders. to nfl and a reprieve for the four players roles in the bounty gate. the nfl commissioners is reviewing suspensions of jonathanville make, scott fujita, anthony ar grove and will smith. after he heard the decision he could play vilma tweeted,
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victory is mine. when the monthly jobs report came out yesterday, people called it disappointing and said the economy didn't add enough jobs. even if you have a job you still may face a lot of hardship of that's the case for one man in santa barbara, california. he's got a fulltime job but still can't afford rent, so he's living out of his van. >> politicians have been taking jabs at each other over the jobs report. the number only tells you part of the story. talk to people the working middle class and they will tell you they can't keep up even if they have a full-time job. julius is behind the while of a santa barbara bus five times a week. a fulltime job 245 pays $19 an hour to the driver with the jovial beard. when his workday is over, he moves from his bus to another vehicle, his van where he lives.
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>> a regular full-sized mattress. >> this is home, because he makes too much to qualify for public housing but can't afford rent in the high-cost city of santa barbara. >> a lot of people think that if you have a fulltime job in america, you're okay. that's not really the case for you, is it? >> no. i've got a fulltime job and barely making ends meet. >> debt from a failed small business piled up and he and his wife are digging out. so this county parking lot is where they sleep, joined by more than a dozen others who live in their cars. it's called the safe parking program. 114 spaces spread out across the county with a waiting list of more than 40. >> i have senior citizens, i have couples, i have families. >> a third of the people, says the program manager, have jobs but underemployed like approximately 17% of americans. what do you think it says about america when somebody who has a job, who wants to work, still has to live in a car.
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>> i think people would be shocked. i think they would be shocked if they would come and meet some of these people. because i tell you when they come into my office, i want to cry. it reminds me of someone that could be my mother, my sister, my brother. >> or your bus driver. >> morning. >> who starts his day on the move. breakfast with his wife mary is at the doughnut shop. the bathroom, a public one. the dressing room, the back of the van. >> normal life is what you miss. living in a van is not the norm. >> has the middle class in america changed? >> i think the middle class has slid down the scale a little bit more towards the lower class and it's a little tougher for the middle class people to survive and actually pursue the american dream. >> i love you. >> i love you, too.
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>> torrevil as keeps chasing his dream hoping whoever wins the election will be able to shift the economy into gear. >> good morning. >> reporter: he says he and his wife have considered moving to a more affordable city but he's worried he wouldn't be able to find a new job. victor. >> thanks. this problem is not unique to santa barbara. the average home price there is more than $600,000. that's a lot, right? it doesn't even rank in the top 100 in terms of cities with the highest average home prices. next the legal case of a convicted murderer who was granted a sex change operation from a federal judge. why it's affecting your wallet. we'll examine this very unusual case next.
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welcome back. 36 minutes past the hour. in massachusetts a federal judge has ordered sex reassignment surgery for a trans sexual prison inmate ruling it's the only adequate treatment for the inmate's gender disorder. michelle once known as robert is serving a life sentence without parole for murdering his wife in 1990. advocates praise the ruling as legitimate treatment of identity disorder. but critics, including senator scott brown, call it an outrageous abuse of taxpayer dollars. cnn legal contributor paul callan joins me to talk about this. what a strange case. is this transsexual surgery an abuse of taxpayer dollars or legitimate medical treatment. >> great question. this case makes people crazy. i was discussing it in office with my attorneys who work for me and even attorneys really argue about this.
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is it a waste of taxpayer money. both senate candidates in massachusetts say it is. most people think it's outrageous. frankly this surgery costs about $20,000. this particular inmate, who is in prison for murder, life without parole, murdering his ex-wife -- his wife. she came into the emergency room once with a fork in her head that he had put there. they said it was an accident. they sent her home. she was subsequently murdered. the federal judge said under the eighth amendment to the constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, that it would be cruel and unusual punishment for him not to get gender reassignment surgery. in other words, to be transformed from a male into a female. this judge says the eighth amendment gives him that right. now ironically citizens at home, who don't go to jail, don't have the right to get this paid for by taxpayers. but apparently a prisoner in massachusetts does.
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>> but this is the first decision in which a court has actually ordered a prison to provide this sex reassignment surgery as necessary medical treatment. what are the chance, do you think, it could be overturned? >> well, i think it probably will be overturned. this is a decision by a district court judge in massachusetts. now, he's a federal judge, and so this does have national precedent but only in a limited way. other courts will look at it, they are not bound by it. it will now go up to the circuit court of appeals. the judge makes a compelling argument in his decision. he writes over a 100 page decision. the biggest thing going for it being affirmed, approved by the appellate court, unfortunately the department of corrections in massachusetts didn't contest it in any strong way. they said, listen, our big problem is a security problem. if we have to move him to a woman's prison or put him in a special wing of a man's prison
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that's going to create security problems or expense for us. they don't contest medically he needs the surgery. his lawyers claim he tried to commit suicide twice. he tried to casterate himself. >> you bring an interesting point. if he becomes a woman and has to be transferred to an all woman's prison, this is a guy convicted of killing his wife, as we discussed. doesn't that put those female prisoners possibly in danger? >> that's the ultimate irony of the case, randi. you're right. he's in prison for killing a woman, abuseing a woman over a lengthy period of time. now what are we going to do, let's put him in a women's prison. ironically he might be more in danger in a woman's prison than the women. think about the women in women's prisons. you have to have committed a
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violent crime to go to prison if you're a woman. he might be more in danger from them than them from him. that's why i said at the beginning, it makes people crazy. people are saying, you can't be serious. the state of massachusetts is going to pay for gender reassignment? they are going to turn a man into a woman and transfer him to a woman's prison. this actually is a federal court decision going forward in massachusetts. >> when so many states are struggling around the country in this economy, you think that's where our tax dollars are going, it's amazing. paul callan, nice to see you thank you. >> always nice being with us. as the anniversary of september 11th approaches we're taking a closer look at a special fund. it helps men and women who helped clean up in the aftermath of the attacks. ♪ i can do anything today ♪ i can go anywhere ♪ i can go anywhere today
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decade they have been trying to get financial help to cover illnesses resulting from their work at ground zero. athena jones explains why their wait may soon be over. >> i live on staten island at the time. i could see the smoke coming from the tower. >> reporter: ernie rushed to the world trade center site on spt september 11th, 2001, to help with rescue and recovery efforts. >> a lot of confusion, a lot of smoke. you couldn't see -- when you were trying to walk through the smoke to certainly for survivors, you could barely see your hand in front of you. >> then a new york city police detective, he spent six months at the site. a few years later, he was diagnosed with cancer. >> 2004 is when i was diagnosed with non-hodgkin's lymphoma. >> reporter: his cancer in remission, he had to use retirement savings to pay bills his insurance didn't recover and is hoping to recoup some of that money. eleven years after 9/11, he and
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other first responders made sick by chemicals and dust are still waiting for compensation by the government. payments to some who developed respiratory, digestive and other conditions should begin in months. an act named after the police officer who died of a respiratory illness after working at the 9/11 sites. while 9/11 victims and their families were compensated after the act this makes people who got sick, living near or at the site subject to compensation, sets out $2.8 million. they will set out soon 50 types of cancer, an illness originally left off. an attorney will apply on his behalf as soon as the announcement is made. he represents 4,000 first responders who became ill. >> people are terribly sick.
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people can't support their families. >> reporter: for those just now getting sick he hopes it will ultimately give this message. >> just fight your cancer. don't worry about money, co-payments, medications, we got your back. >> reporter: athena jones, cnn, washington. it is a dog story even cat lovers will find touching a woman falls in love with a puppy needing a home. her adoption efforts turn to rescue after she discovers the dog's alarming background. the shocking story of blue and thousands of others just like him and why you, the taxpayer, are footing the bill. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
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[ woman ] ask me why i'm glad i didn't wait till i'm too old to enjoy this. [ male announcer ] treat yourself to the ultimate sleep experience and save up to $400 during the tempur ergo savings event. plus visit tempurpedic.com for full details on our 0% apr financing with four years to pay. don't wait. the tempur ergo savings event ends october 14th. visit tempurpedic.com now. tempur-pedic. the most highly recommended bed in america. for my next guest, all it took was a picture, just one picture posted online for her to fall in love. who can blame her? this adorable puppy in desperate need of a home. his picture on petfinder.com. she was smitten. she named her new dog blue.
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what she discovered about his background life shocked her. blah was days away from the gas chamber, the gas chamber right there, a fate animals face every single day across america. and you, the taxpayer, are footing the bill. she writes about her discovery with this book, little boy blue. good morning, kim. so nice of you to bring blue to the studio this morning. >> good morning. >> we're trying to get him to look at the camera for you, randi. >> i saw you brought him some treats. that was a good idea. let's talk about how you and blue came to be. you live in new jersey and blue was in north carolina when you found him online. tell us interviewers how he made it from rural north carolina all the way to your home in new jersey. >> the way that petfinder.com is working these days, rescue groups in the south where there are very, very high rate kill
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shelters are working hand in hand with rescue groups in the north. a rescuer named rhonda beach pulled blue out of the shelter in rural north carolina and she worked with a group called lulu's rescue up in pennsylvania which marketed him for adoption. so when i typed my zip code into pet finder, he came up, even though he was really 500 miles away. then it was a matter whether he was going to onco-by rv or private plane, which sounded crazy to me. then i started to under how blue's story was a story of rescue all across america. >> absolutely. you were able to track down the shelter where blue was basically pulled from death row. it's in a very small town in north carolina. called roxboro in person county. you traveled there. you discovered some pretty disturbing things. tell us about that. >> i did. i had heard rumors when i went down there that this shelter was killing more than 90% of the dogs left in its care unless the community intervenes. the first thing i did was get
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ahold of their records through the freedom of information act. it turned out to be true, year after year after year. unless volunteers come in and get them out 95% are killed. they have cages, very few for cages to be saved. they sit right next to the gas chamber you showed a picture of. dogs can hear it, hear the other dogs inside of it. it's horrible to see. >> you write killing cats and dogs in gas chambers is banned in 22 states. in those other states, it's either illegal or no laws at all in the books. north carolina is the worst offender. the number of 95% of them being killed there is just horrible to hear. but we contacted animal control hotel us they will phase out the gas chamber by july 1st, 2013. director ronald shaw denied your book is the reason why and blue's story is the reason why but did tell us, quote, the gas chamber is not cruel but animal
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activists don't agree with it and i'm fed up with dealing wit. i want your response to that. his response saying the gas chamber isn't a cruel way for animals to die? >> i think we have a different opinion of cruelty. to me when you put a dog like blue into a metal box and they suck the oxygen out of it until he's unconscious and they scream and cry and claw to get ut that doesn't sound like euthanasia. that's why it's banned in 22 states. that's why there's a bill before congress to get rid of these gas chambers all over the country. i would say anybody fed up with animal people trying to save a dog like blue should do their jobs and try to save them themselves. >> what was the attitude with the workers there? were they out of touch with what's happening to the animals? >> no, everyone is aware of what's doing on there. i tried very hard in "little boy blue" to be kind to these folks.
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they are in a small town, rural area, they don't have the tools and skills to do what they need to do. in some cases they are not trying to do what they need to do. in some cases they need help. >> let me share one passage from your book that really struck me. it reads this. if just two in four people, instead of one in four people, went to shelters instead of breeders or pet stores to get their next dog, then the entire problem of killing dogs like blue would be statistically eliminated across the country. that is pretty remarkable. i guess why don't more people adopt from shelters? how do activists like yourself discourage people from going to breeders and getting those sorts of puppies? >> i think there's two things that play there, randi. i think the first thing is that awful us have been marketed to since we were children to believe pure breds are quite simply better. nobody is going to pay $1,000 or $2,000 for a pure bred puppy if they believe a dog like blue
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they can get for a couple hundred bucks from a shelter is just as good. the first problem is marketing. the second problem is people don't want to step into shelters. i completely understand that. i had to go into several of them to report "little boy blue." it's heartbreaking. you don't want to walk in there, especially if you have kids. that's why petfinder.com, wy we're donating proceeds, go on like i do, click on the picture, rescue groups have done the work for you. you don't have to get out of bed in the morning. >> i know it's tough to take your children to a shelter but what a way to teach them about saving a life of these puppies. you write about fostering animals in need, certainly important to spay and neuter them. you have actually fostered several dogs, including the one you adopted this week, ginger, blue's new sister. >> spay and neuter is the ultimate solution. we also have to help the ones here.
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ginger is my 19th foster dog with lulu's rescue. >> adorable. >> we tried a few times to adopt her out. she's like blue was, nervous around new people, rightfully so. i got tired of people doing to her what they did to blue. she's not unloveable. we're lucky to have her. >> as we look at pictures, they are adorable. thank blue for coming in and being on his best behavior. >> thank you, randi. >> author kim kavin "little boy blue" in stores now. we told you about the boy with down's syndrome who couldn't board a flight. do they have a case for discrimination? keep the comments coming and we'll share some of them in a moment. conversations help us learn and grow. at wells fargo, we believe you can never underestimate the power of a conversation. it's this exchange of ideas that helps you move ahead with confidence.
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let's catch up on a story we've been following this morning. a family plans to sue american airlines for discrimination after the airline refused to allow their 16-year-old son on the flight. this is their teenager. he has down's syndrome. the airlines said he was a security risk because the family was flying first class near the cockpit and they feared he'd interfere. the family said he was behaving. they claim the airline discriminated against him by violating the americans with disabilities act. >> we ask you, do the parents have a case. adam wrote this. american airlines should be ashamed of themselves. this is a clear violation of ada and the airline and its pilot should pay dearly. if it's true the child was well behaved then the family most definitely has a case. pure discrimination. greg says, i think they have a case not for discrimination. he wasn't removed because of
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down's syndrome. if american airlines doesn't have security evidence of the kid running around, the parents case is strong. be sure to keep tweeting us. we'll read more responses. at 9:00 a.m. we'll talk with the boy's parents. that should be an interesting conversation to hear more about how it happened and, of course, give their reaction. good morning, everyone. i'm randi kaye. >> i'm victor blackwell, 9:00 a.m. out east, 6:00 a.m. out west. a pleasure to be with you. a gunman wanted in a border patrol agent is under arrest. it triggered an investigation into the u.s. government's botched gun smuggling scheme known as fast and furious. mesa is in custody. mexican police captured him south of the arizona border. he likely will be extradited to the u.s. he's the second suspect, captured three others
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still on the run. >> the pentagon says the tell-all "no easy day" that recounts the navy s.e.a.l. raid that killed osama bin laden has it wrong. they have learned exclusively the head of u.s. operations contacted members of the covert team to find out if the book's version of bin laden's death was accurate. in "no easy day" he claims bin laden had been shot already and was lying on the floor of his room when they entered. he says they shot bin laden again until he was motionless. senior pentagon officials say that's not what happened according to the other s.e.a.l.s. they say the al qaeda leader was standing when the team entered and they shot him because he posed a threat. in chicago negotiations under way to try to prevent the city's first teacher's strike. teachers in america's third largest school district are threatening to walk out of the classroom and on the picket lines monday if the resolution is not reached. the issues are pay, raises job security and hours and teacher
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evaluations. if there is a strike, 400,000 students could be affected. to politics now. president obama is trying to sway swing voters in florida this weekend. he's kicking off a two-day bus tour today. his first stop st. petersburg petersburg. that's where we find out chief white house correspondent jessica yellin. florida's former republican governor charlie crist traveling with obama today. he said obama saved florida during his convention speech. does that help, do you think, does it help obama with florida's conservative voters? >> reporter: it helps the president make the case he still has bipartisan appeal potentially, randi. i don't know that charlie crist necessarily has enormous sway with the state's republican voters, because he has moved away from the party somewhat by
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embracing the president. you recall four years ago the president ran on this promise to bridge partisan divides. he won over many republicans. by having a republican with him, he can make the case that he is still reaching out to republicans himself and still wants their support. so it can help with his own supporters to make the case that he is still interested in bipartisanship at the very least, randi. >> with the jobs report out yesterday, do you expect that conversation to continue on the trail as well. >> given when the jobs report came out that he tried to minimize mention of it, i doubt he'll try to bring it up today, but he does talk about jobs itself every day he's on the trail. his general message is that the u.s. has not come far enough. there's more work to do, is the way he puts it, and makes a pivot into his economic contrast between what mitt romney's vision is and what his vision
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is. he's gone on this riff lately every since the convention about republican's vision of cutting taxes and regulations whereas he has a vision for the middle class. i fully expect that to come up, randi. >> i'm sure you're right on that one. jessica yellin, thank you. another battleground, virginia. that's where mitt romney is focusing this weekend as he tries to put the state back in the win column for republicans after president obama turned it blue four years ago. our political editor paul steinhauser in virginia beach. paul, good morning. team romney has just launched a major ad blitz in eight swing states including virginia. what can you tell us about this latest pitch? >> three ads in virginia just started running yesterday, victor. you're absolutely right. one is playing here in the virginia beach norfolk area where there's a lot of defense industry and military jobs. that ad goes after the president for military jobs and for defense cuts. as part of the strategy for romney to try to win this state back, remember, president barack obama when he was senator obama
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won the state four years ago. he was the first democrat to carry virginia in a presidential election since 1964. both sides, both mr. obama and mr. romney spending a lot of time in this state and running a lot of ads in the state, victor. we're at the military aviation museum in virginia beach. you can see the bus behind that rolled in earlier this morning. take a look at this off to the right, a very large american family, just finished setting it up getting ready for a big rally, military retirees, active personnel may be at this rally site. this is a crowd mitt romney thinks he can do well in virginia. this is one of those swing parts of the swing state. victor. >> not just romney spending money on ads in virginia but the obama campaign spending a lot, too. how much so far? >> reporter: well, i think if you add it all together, take all the ads the obama campaign and those super pacs, independent groups back the president, $11.5 million since
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the start of the general election. look at mitt romney and super pacs backing him, pretty close, $11.3 million. a lot of money spent here and also those other battleground states. you turn on the tv and watch the local stations and you get one ad after another after another, victimor. >> paul steinhauser in virginia beach, virginia. we will see more ads and more visits from the candidate in virginia. thank you. an up close and personal look at the two men vying to hold the country's future in their hands. find out what barack obama and mitt romney are really like tomorrow starting at 8:00 when we profile the republican nominee in romney revealed, faith, family and the road to power. followed at 9:30 by obama revealed, the man, the president. a teenager with down's syndrome blocked from flying an american airlines flight. was he and his family bullied by the big carrier or was he a safety risk, really, to himself and others as the pilot claims. the father is angry, threatening to sue. he'll join me next.
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a cell phone video tells another story. >> reporter: this home video shows bede vanderhorst at a journey concert, the 16-year-old called up on stage and given a guitar by the band. they describe him as outgoing, charming. they say he was singled out and discriminated against because he has down's syndrome. >> he never went down the ramp. >> would not allow him on the plane because this man saw my son and made a decision. >> joan and robert vanderhorst who spoke to us through skype tell us as they waited to board an american airlines flight with their son, they were told they weren't allowed on. >> okay. my question is why are you singling me out and saying -- why aren't you telling them and them and them and all these people that have children. >> a security controlled area. you cannot be recording this. >> reporter: joan pulled out her cell phone and started to videotape what she felt was a
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violation of her sons right and the american with disabilities act. her son labeled a flight risk can be seen sitting at the gate playing with his hat. in the video you can hear joan sobbing and her husband expressing gleef. >> he's behaving. he's demonstrating he's not a problem. >> i kept saying only because he has down's syndrome. >> reporter: the family had flown together dozens of times. the only difference they upgraded first class. >> the little boy had a seat in the first class area and for some reason they didn't want that. that was unacceptable. >> reporter: american airlines release add statement that reads in part, the young man was excitable, running around and not acclimated to the environment. the pilot attempted to calm him down and acclimate him to surroundings. his efforts were not successful. for the safety of the young man and others american airlines offered to book another flight for the family. the family said that statement is untrue. they said they will sue american airlines and hope their
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experience will teach the company and people in general a valuable lesson. >> to respect each person's dignity, every one of us should be treated with equal dignity. >> our thanks to carolyn costello our affiliate ktla. joining me on the telephone is the teen's father, robert vanderhorst. good morning, robert. an incredible story about what happened to your son at the airport. have you heard from american airlines since the the incident and have they refunded your upgrade fee to first class? >> i have not heard from either airline, american airlines or united since the events of last sunday. >> cnn we should say reached out to american airlines. they released this statement, quote, americans actions and procedures are in full compliance with the air carrier access act. we do not have formally lodged complaint from the family but a refund of the upgrade. however, because of the denied boarding we must respond to the
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family within 10 days of travel. the vanderhorst family will here from us very soon. what do you make of that response and tell me how your son is doing. >> first of all to the american airlines response. they are such chickens. they could pick up the phone and call me. they could e-mail me. i haven't heard from them directly. so all i know is what people tell me they said, okay in the next thing is, you know, this has been so upseting to my wife, my son, and myself, you know, to be treated this way. it's all because we dared to upgrade our coach ticket to first class. >> based on the airlines' statement, though, do you still plan to sue? >> absolutely. we lawyered up. >> on what grounds? >> well, the attorneys i've spoken to, they believe there may be an americans with disability act claim.
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they believe we can venue this case in california where we have the state disabilities laws in our favor. the unruh act. they believe there may be some other common law or statutory claims we can also make. >> the airline certainly has been saying it had safety concerns and they were concerned about your son's behavior, concerns about his proximity to the cockpit. what do you make of that? how was your son behaving there? >> well, the airline statements as they relate to my son's behavior are all lies. they are defaming my son. they say he was excited and agitated. they spent a half hour with the family trying to calm him down. the only time they spent with us was to try to tell us that there were special rules for this little boy to ride on their
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plane, rules they didn't try to impose on anyone else traveling with a child. >> i know it was a difficult day for your family certainly and a long one. you eventually flew home on united airlines. independent in that case you were actually placed, your family was placed at the back of the plane with empty seats all around you so other passengers couldn't sit near you. this bothered you, right? >> well, you know, we were just happy to be finally getting on a plane and heading home. we got to that airport almost three hours early for the american airlines flight. then when they refused to let us board, we had to wait another two hours for the united flight. we were just happy to be finally in a line with our bags, with our boy getting on a plane. then when we were in that line, one of the united employees approached us and said, show me your boarding pass. it had row 35, a, b, c.
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i didn't notice where the seating was until she asked me to show it. i said that's in the back of the plane. she said if you have any needs, le us know. she went back to the counter, 508c in newark. i looked up to see where she went. when she went to that table, counter, there was a pilot next to her scrutinizing us. >> we spoke to united. here is their statement about your seat assignment. united said united was pleased to welcome the family on board because there were several open seats in economy. the captain, lead flight attendant and gate agent thought the family would welcome sitting in the rear of the airport alone so they could have additional space and privacy and made that offer to them before they boarded. sounds like you're certainly not buying that. >> well, we weren't told you're welcome aboard and we're going to get you some space. it's because maybe everything else you've been through today, we just want to give you some room and quiet all to yourself.
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as it was happening, as we were flying on united, it felt like we were being segregated. we went from row 35 to 37 and 37 to the absolute back of the plane with our backs against the walls. no one told us oh, we're doing this for your comfort or safety. then when people tried to lay down and sleep in the empty rows in front of us or to the left of us, they were told by the stewardesses, those rows are blocked. >> well, i know it was a tough day for your family. robert vanderhorst, i hope your son is doing well. we certainly appreciate you coming on, taking the time to talk with us about it. we will talk more with you, we hope, in the future about this case. thank you. >> you're welcome. bye-bye. >> what's blue and red and yellow all over? the electoral map. we break down where the votes are going with a little election map. that's next. that'll be $973.42.
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the unemployment rate fell last month from 8.3 to 8.1%. before you get excited the drop was mainly because people gave up the search for work. president obama says the numbers aren't good enough. mitt romney calls them very disappointing cnn's john king takes a closer look at what it could mean for november. >> a weak jobs report is the last thing the president wanted especially the morning after his convention when he's trying to get a big bounce out of charlotte. let's take a closer look at the numbers and think how they would play out in the presidential campaign. 8.1, that's down a little bit but not good news.
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96,000 jobs created last month. 370,000 people gave up, stopped looking for work. that is why the rate went down, not because of a booming economy. you heard the president, so many other speakers at the convention saying made in america is back. look at that. manufacturing jobs down 15,000 last month. that makes it much harder for the president to travel the country and say factory employment is coming back. if you look at this, you have to play the cards you're dealt, here is the case the president will make. yes, things are tough, they are getting better. if you go early to the obama administration at one point in 2009, unemployment went boup 10%. the president will make the case still tough but getting better. still another way this works for the president politically. that's a national unemployment rate, presidential are decided state by state. some of the key battle grounds the unemployment situation is better. not in colorado, up, florida pretty static. ohio, one of those big midwestern battle grounds, ohio, 7.2% now, down from 8.6% at the
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start of the obama presidency. why is that state so important? if you paid tank to the convention, what did you hear over and over and over again, michigan and ohio, the auto bailout. the president believes his support from the auto bailout is a huge asset against governor romney and here is why. if you look at the map now, 237 electoral college votes, solid, dark blue or leaning light blue in the president's favor. 191, dark blue solid, light red leaning for governor romney. if the president can hold ohio, which has been right in every presidential election since 1964, whoever wins ohio wins the white house. if the president can hold ohio, he won it four years ago, look where that puts him, 2 5. always state bet. ohio is a more conservative bet than iowa. if the democrat is winning ohio, he morning likely is winning iowa as well. look at that, president 261. then the president would have to win only one, one of the larger states like florida or even like virginia or north carolina, the president would have to win one, new hampshire and nevada, the
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smaller states. flip it over. if the president can win ohio and win iowa, mitt romney would have to almost run the board. he could afford to lose new hampshire or nevada but essentially running the board. here it is in a sentence. president obama wins ohio, it's a huge speed bump if not a roadblock to a romney presidency. >> the new jobs numbers are likely going to be the main topic on the campaign trail today. we'll tell you where the candidates are taking that message. ♪ i can do anything today ♪ i can go anywhere ♪ i can go anywhere today ♪ la la la la la la la [ male announcer ] dow solutions help millions of people by helping to make gluten free bread that doesn't taste gluten free. together, the elements of science and the human element can solve anything. solutionism. the new optimism.
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try capzasin-hp. it penetrates deep to block pain signals for hours of relief. capzasin-hp. take the pain out of arthritis. president obama kicks off a two-day bus tour through florida today. he has stops in kissimmee. meanwhile mitt romney in virginia, he'll be at a rally in virginia beach before heading to the nascar race in richmond this evening. thanks so much for watching today. i'll see you back here at the top of the hour. day one under your belt. how did it folly? >> it went well. this is great. i enjoyed it. >> enough caffeine, ab t

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